Ex-MLB commissioner wants shorter games
Says baseball is losing younger generation
Good morning, all! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend.
It is not often a former commissioner of Major League Baseball proposes a radical change and to be honest, I am surprised his recent comments to Waterbury Republican American sports columnist Roger Cleaveland haven’t gone virile.
Fay Vincent, MLB commissioner from 1989-92, wants games shortened to seven innings, not just games that are part of a doubleheader. Here’s Vincent:
”They have to figure out a way to shorten games. You can’t have four-hour games, especially starting at 7 or 8 at night, because the working person just is not going to be able to watch. If you are 83, the way I am, I don’t have to be anywhere in the morning and I can afford to be tired or not be on my best behavior the next morning. But if you are gearing the game to anybody under 50 or 60, you have to play the game in time.”
Vincent is not the first person to advocate for shorter games. ESPN baseball broadcaster Karl Ravech is also on board with 7-inning games. Both Vincent and Ravech have a great appreciation for the game’s traditions but they also have a yearning for the game’s growth among our younger generation. When a game enters hour number three and it’s just the start of the fifth inning, a game featuring strike outs and 10-pitch at bats, then Vincent’s comments are worthy of discussion.
I don’t think we will witness all games being of seven-inning length, but I do believe the seven-inning, doubleheaders are here to stay, after this season, and I would not rule out all games moving to seven innings my the 2030s. In other words, nine-inning games could go the way of the gasoline-powered motor vehicle.
Looking forward to tonight’s golf
Did you know there is a big golf match tonight? Yes, in a reprise of last year’s match, but with an altered cast, Phil Mickelson and quarterback Tom Brady will once again team up, this time taking on Bryson DeChambeau and QB Aaron Rodgers.
The event will be played at the Reserve at Moonlight Basin in Montana. The course features a 17th hole, par 5 that is 777 yards in length, or about one-third the size of some of the nine-hole courses I play on. TNT and TBS have the coverage, starting at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
Remembering the NBC Saturday Game of the Week
These days MLB still has a Saturday “game of the week,” but not every Saturday. And other networks have their own “Game of the Week,” not to mention every club has its own sports network and you can pay for an MLB app that gets you every MLB game on television and radio. But I am old enough to remember NBC’s Saturday Game of the Week on TV every Saturday from the season’s start to its finish, and it was special. So I leave you with this coverage of the Saturday, July 12, 1969 game from Wrigley Field, between the Cubs and Phillies with Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek calling the action. If nothing else, watch Kubek’s pregame interview with Cubs’ manager Leo Durocher. It is terrific.
By the way, to put the game in context, the Cubs were in first place by four games, before this game, and were nearly no-hit by Tom Seaver earlier in the week at Shea Stadium, before Jim Qualls broke up Seaver’s perfect game bid in the ninth inning. The Phils were 13 1/2 game back. Enjoy!
That is it for today. Have a terrific week and I hope your summer is going well!